Changing Times, Scorecards and in General Making Like a Beast
A Modern Meditation on Daniel 7
If you think the year is 2015, you’re only partially correct. For the citizens of North Korea it’s presently 104. That’s because the government retooled the calendar so that the modern era began on the day their tin-pot messiah, Kim II-sung, was born. (April 15, 1912—the “Day of the Sun”—is a national holiday, appropriately coinciding with America’s tax filing day, though it would have been even more fitting had he been born two weeks before.)
His son and successor, Kim Jong-il, took a break from “changing the times”— settling on changing his score card in golf. According to official North Korean state media reports, this unsurpassed leader and athlete routinely shot three or four holes-in-one per round of golf.
But now Jong-il’s son and successor, Jong Un (you’ve got to appreciate the delightful onomatopoeia in all of this), is back on the time thing. On August 15 the government officially put the nation’s clocks on Pyongyang Time, setting them back from the rest of the world by one-half hour.
And there you have it folks: truth unfolding on the world stage. And courtesy of the Playwright who directs the rising and fall of nations and individuals; all in an effort to get through our thick heads that the more we lean to our own understanding, the stupider and more destructive we become.
North Korea: there’s probably no nation on earth more committed to rejecting God; more beguiled by the notion that “man is the measure of all things” and that a great one can arise from the masses and lead the people into a humanistic promise-land. And what has it gotten them? Knocked two thousand years back into the past. (Looking at the living conditions in North Korea, that’s actually an insult to citizens of the iron age.) Jerked a half-step out-of-sync with reality. And cursed with a succession of toad-like fools for leaders who if placed anywhere else in the world couldn’t get elected class clown.
(But before we get too smug: how far behind this tragicomic fiasco are we? I mean, really? Particularly when set against the New Jerusalem God has in mind for this planet.)
And so the “four winds of heaven” sovereignly blow across the roiling, chaotic seas of fallen humanity. Beast systems are cast upon the shore and do their dance until ebbing tides sweep them back into the abyss. Flecks of foamy shame manifest as men: pathetic antichrists granted a brief opportunity to sit on their Creator’s lap and try and slap at His face. Change the times! Rail against the Ancient of Days! Strain against His cords and commandments! Oppress the poor and the people of God!
The Creator chuckles. The Playwright, seated on His blood-bought throne, determines the scene is over; that the plot point is complete. The wind blows and the tides ebb. And Nero, Diocletian, Attila, Vlad, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi, Saddam and the Kims—among other beasts—shuffle off, stage left, into a burning Sheol; waiting on the terrors of the Great Day when the curtain sets on Act One.
Then Act Two begins.
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